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I’m glad tomorrow is Sunday. Millions of Christ-followers will gather together – in small and large groups – in caves and cathedrals, homes and storefronts and huge campuses. They will gather with two purposes – to worship God and to encourage each other. Love God and love others.

Church is about a relationship with Jesus – the most important relationship in the world – and about a relationship with other people. The Bible is clear:  you can’t be right with God and not seek to be right with other people. 

That presents a problem. As David Foster says…

People are messy. People come in different varieties. They are not clean and simple and easy; not always happy and easy to get along with, and sometimes difficult, bitter, and enraged. How do you engage these people? I’m not trying to be simplistic, but here are some suggestions. If you understand where they’re coming from, you’ll be able to walk a mile in their shoes and have more compassion.

David lists the different kinds of people you can expect to meet in church – and all next week. You’ll probably find yourself in his list. I certainly find myself.

 

1. THE BEAT-UP. There will be those who come into churches all across America tomorrow beat up by life, beat up by people, beat up by their own choices. They may not have the signs of being hit in the head with a hammer, but they are just as devastated.

2. THE BROKEN. There will be those there tomorrow who have been broken by life, broken by their own bad choices, broken by betrayals of others, and they’ve been unable to flex to bear the stress that comes with that kind of life experience.

3. THE BRUISED. There are those who are doing ok, but have been dinged up along the way. They’re walking ok, talking ok, but beginning to demonstrate the swagger of a cynic, someone who has a jaundiced view about life.

4. THE BORED. These are the people for whom almost everything has gone really, really well. They’ve enjoyed life. Life has really been easy for them. They’ve attained a success others only dream of. But they’re bored, under-challenged, and they are coming to church tomorrow, not as a matter of tradition, but actually as a matter of quiet desperation. Is there anything more to life than just acquisition, power, and control?

5. THE BETRAYED. Those are the ones who are going to have a hard time trusting you because they can’t trust anyone else.

I would add to his list: THE BULLIES, THE BELIEVING, THE BAFFLED, THOSE WITH A BRIEF TIME TO LIVE, THE BANKRUPT, THE BASHFUL, THE BOTHERED, THE BOUGHT, THOSE ON THE BRINK OF ENDING IT ALL, AND THE BEST (at least in their own eyes).

These are the people that you will meet tomorrow, Monday, and every day of your life. These are the people you and I are called to love, help, serve, encourage and save.

Just thought you’d like to know.

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One Comment

  1. We were on the last day of our vacation and worshiped with my sibling and his family in Seaside, OR, so I would had one more joyous description to the “B” list: The Brother who came Back to God.


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